NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Children playing in the street, cooled by the spray of a fire hydrant; an elderly man in repose in his rocking chair, and the colorful lights of Times Square—photos that depict the diversity of experiences of people living in New York City— are the subject of a dramatic new exhibition at United Hebrew of New Rochelle’s Lazarus Gallery. Titled “New York State of Mind,” this show features 45 photographic works by the award-winning photographer, Enid Alvarez, a former New York Daily News photographer, and the daughter of a current United Hebrew resident.
A reception with the artist will be held Sunday, November 12 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. in the gallery, located at 391 Pelham Road, New Rochelle. The reception is free and open to the public.
Among the images on display are dogs frolicking in a Manhattan dog park; children jumping rope at a music festival in Brooklyn; a man rolling cigars in the Bronx; a little girl on a playground swing in Queens, and neighbors dancing together at night in East Harlem.
According to Rita Mabli, president and CEO of United Hebrew, “When you see these rich photographs, you may flash back to the simpler days of your childhood, remember the excitement of your first visit to New York City, or feel look back on your life’s experiences. The rich diversity of these images offers common ground for our residents and their families to reflect, feel nostalgic and feel connected to each other.”
Among the works is a photograph of children in Spanish Harlem caught in the spray of a fire hydrant, an award-winning image captured by Alvarez while the Puerto Rican 116th Street Festival was taking place a few blocks away. After photographing the event, she happened upon the scene and captured its jubilant mood with her camera. She says it offered an opportunity to “go back to her roots,” and revisit memories she had of growing up in the South Bronx. “Simple pleasures like cooling off on a hot summer’s day were all we had,” says Alvarez. “This photo captures the feeling of an urban neighborhood and the playfulness of childhood.” Collectively, Alvarez says, the images in this exhibition “show us that although we are living in a rapidly changing world, our basic human interactions and emotions are timeless. I believe that my work shows that as humans, we are of one world and we are all connected. We are all the same.”
About the Artist
A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, Alvarez was born and raised in The Bronx, where she developed a deep affection for the culturally diverse world she grew up in. A native New Yorker of Puerto Rican heritage, she went on to become an experienced traveler, photographing people all over the world and finding common ground with a diverse array of individuals, giving her an insider’s view into many cultures from across the globe. Alvarez has continued to develop her creative process, coming back home to photograph the changing life and circumstances of her vulnerable community that has a deep personal resonance for her.
The show offers personal meaning to Alvarez, as her mother, Angelita Velez-Torres is a resident of United Hebrew’s skilled nursing facility. They traveled together all over Puerto Rico, where mother is from and they still have family. “I think my mom is proud of having my work on display where she lives,” says Alvarez. “I hope it triggers happy memories for her, and for her fellow residents.”
“New York State of Mind” will be free and open to the public daily, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at United Hebrew’s Lazarus Gallery. For more information contact Linda Forman, Senior Advisor to the President, United Hebrew, 914.632.2804 x1224 or [email protected].